Talent is Overrated | Book Review

Thoughts on Applying the Principles in Our Lives:

Rather than exclusively focus on top achievers, Colvin moves past the description of deliberate practice to application – key to each of us individually and as Academy Leadership facilitators. This is a rich chapter, along with the following Applying the Principles in Our Organization well worth review prior to facilitating a boot camp, and certainly before an in-house program focusing on a single organization.

Applications to Academy Leadership:

Page 118 introduces the research term Metacognition, or to paraphrase, learning about yourself from a point outside yourself, which the best performers do. Metacognition advances our Energize2Lead Profile teachable point of view, that 75% observe and experience differently than us, into the “walk the talk” realm we promote. The concept is a terrific knowledge ingredient for our toolbox.

Page 121 describes domain knowledge as an objective rather than byproduct of work. As facilitators we should learn as much as possible about our clients before our boot camps, in-house programs, or training sessions. I actually had to set the book down during this section and begin studying Moroni Feed Company and Utah demographics because the section was so motivating!

Page 132 correctly declares that most organizations are terrible at providing honest feedback. The reference to the U.S. Army’s after-action review is a good example each of us may reference during our programs.

Thoughts on Performing Great at Innovation:

For me personally, this was a fun chapter reminding my of prior insyte days. Emphasis is placed on creating environments where fresh mindsets and perspectives are much more effective in original problem solving than relying on the experts. In my experience, cross-functional brainstorming always out produced an “expert” echo chamber.

Application to Academy Leadership:

When facilitating “green” (E2L green, not novice) personality types, who typically struggle with delegation, the first part of this chapter is a particularly useful reference. It’s a great motivator to bring in a junior member with a completely fresh perspective, although the setting must be genuinely welcoming. Also, a common pattern with CollinsGreat by Choice emerges on page 152. Colvin mentions, yet again, that almost all first notable masterworks are attained after a period of more than ten years of deliberate practice. Colvin’s ten year rule coincides with the greater than ten year period generally required for the 10X companies to really begin significantly outperforming their peers.

Interesting reflection: How greatness is incubated…

JE | February 2012